ASEMIC

Henri Michaux Narration (excerpt) 1927

It looks like writing, but we can't quite read it.

I call works like this "asemic writing".

Asemic writing seems to be a gigantic, unexplored territory.

Asemic writing has been made by poets, writers, painters, calligraphers, children, and scribblers, all around the world. Most people make asemic writing at some time, possibly when testing a new pen.

Educators talk about children going through distinct stages of "mock letters", "pseudowriting" and so on, when they're learning to write. Many of us made asemic writing before we were able to write words.

Looking at asemic writing does something to us. Some examples have pictograms or ideograms, which suggest a meaning through their shape. Others take us for a ride along their curves. We like some, we dislike others.

They tend to have no fixed meaning. Their meaning is open. Every viewer can arrive at a personal, absolutely correct interpretation.

Asemic writing has been presented by means of books, paintings, scrolls, single pages, mailed envelopes, walls, cinema, television and computers, particularly via the internet.

Henri Michaux, who wrote the piece up above, was a poet and a writer and a painter.

Asemic magazine is devoted to this area. Please check out:
#~1: http://xpressed.sdf-eu.org/asemicmag/amnotvol1.pdf

#1: http://xpressed.sdf-eu.org/asemicmag/amvol21.pdf

#2,1: http://xpressed.sdf-eu.org/asemicmag/amvol21.pdf

#3: http://xpressed.sdf-eu.org/asemicmag/amvol3.pdf
Some of the artists' addresses have changed since publication.

Asemic #4 is a 100 page perfect-bound book.
Price: $17.50 within Australia, $21.50 (Australian) outside Australia, including airmail delivery.
To order a copy, please send a cheque or money order in Australian dollars to Tim Gaze at:
P O Box 1011
Kent Town
SA 5071
Australia

If you’re curious to discover more works in this tradition of illegible writing or wordless writing, please try any of the following in your favourite search engine:

abstract calligraphy

asemic

asemisk

Guy de Cointet

Concrete Poetry

controlled scribble

Jean Degottex

Mirtha Dermisache

doodles

Christian Dotremont

Jean Dubuffet dessins

earliest writing

Max Ernst Maximiliana

escrita assêmica

experimental calligraphy

Gedewon

Brion Gysin

ideograms

illegible writing

Inism

jazzwriting

Marvin Jordana

Kandinsky shamanism

Tom Kemp

Paul Klee

Rashid Koraichi

Kruchenykh Kruchonykh zaum

Ungno Lee letter abstracts

Lettrisme

Mail Art

André Masson automatic drawings

Georges Mathieu

Henri Michaux alphabets narrations

Joan Miró

mock letters

Morita Shiryu

J B Murray J B Murry

pseudowriting

scrittura asemantica

Hélène Smith Martian

Austin Osman Spare sigils

Taoist magic diagrams

Antoni Tàpies

Mark Tobey

Cy Twombly

Vin?a script

Visual Poetry

Made Wianta calligraphy period

Ulfert Wilke

Wosene Kosrof

Zhang Xu Crazy Zhang wild cursive

Compiled by Tim Gaze tg @ asemic.net
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